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Cities, including Hoffman, honored for green efforts

The League of Minnesota Cities recognized 56 member cities last week for participation in GreenStep Cities, a free and voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities achieve their environmental sustainability goals through implementation of 28 best practices.

Each best practice can be implemented by completing one or more specific actions from a list of four-to-eight actions in the areas of transportation, buildings and lighting, environmental management, land use, and economic and community development.

Those actions are tailored to all types of Minnesota cities, and they focus on cost savings, energy use reduction, and encouraging innovation. Cities were recognized at an awards program at the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference in St. Paul.

Cities achieve Step One recognition by passing a resolution to become a GreenStep City. Step Two-designated cities have implemented up to eight of the program's best practices, and Step Three-designated cities have implemented up to 16 of the best practices.

A number of cities have completed more than one of the three steps within a single year. The cities recognized for Step One completion in 2012-2013 are Brainerd, Columbia Heights, Lake Crystal, Maple Grove, North St. Paul, St. Paul Park, Sauk Rapids, Shoreview and Woodbury.

Cities completing Step Two include Bemidji, Cottage Grove, Grand Rapids, Hoffman, La Prairie, Lake Elmo, Mahtomedi, Mankato, Marshall, North St. Paul, Oakdale, Red Wing, Sauk Rapids, Shoreview, White Bear Lake, Willmar and Woodbury.

A total of seven cities completed Step Three in 2012-13, including Burnsville, Elk River, Hopkins, Maplewood, Newport, Rochester and Woodbury.

The League also recognized 28 cities that were honored at Step One or Step Two completion levels in 2011-12 and continue to work toward fulfillment of the next step. A complete summary of cities' notable accomplishments is available at

In addition to the League, GreenStep Cities partnering organizations include the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Division of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Clean Energy Resource Teams, the Great Plains Institute, the Izaak Walton League - Minnesota Division, and the Urban Land Institute of Minnesota. This year's GreenStep Cities awards program was sponsored by Ameresco, CenterPoint Energy, Community Resources Planning, Finance and Commerce, Minnesota Department of Commerce -- Division of Energy Resources, Stantec, and Sternberg Lighting.

The League of Minnesota Cities is a nonprofit, membership organization dedicated to helping cities throughout Minnesota build quality communities through effective advocacy, expert analysis, trusted guidance, and collective action. The League serves its more than 830 members through advocacy, education and training, policy development, risk management, and other services. For more information, visit